With more and more people working remotely, the lines between business and leisure time have blurred. One result is the rise of “bleisure travel,” travel involving aspects of both work and play.
Bleisure travel can be as simple as adding a “fun” day to a business trip or adding a business meeting to a fun trip. It can also be working from a remote or exotic location over a long period. Some business travelers choose to bring their families to take advantage of a great location or hotel room. Combining your work and personal travel has pros and cons.
The pros of bleisure travel
The most obvious reason to combine business and personal travel is that it can save you money. If your company is already sending you to a fabulous location, why not extend the trip by a day or two and enjoy it. You can expand your savings by using loyalty programs and using the same airlines and hotels for work and leisure, increasing your points.
If you have limited time off, using some of it to travel to a location can be annoying. Adding a vacation to your business trip may mean that you don’t have to take time off to get to a location. If you can work during the day and play in the evening, you may lose even less time.
Business conferences and meetings are often held in great travel locations, but sometimes those locations are a little off the beaten path. Taking advantage of a business trip to explore a new area may widen your horizons.
More family time
If you can time a business trip for when the rest of your family is available, then having a company-provided hotel room may mean that you don’t have to be separated from your family when working.
The negatives of bleisure travel
Many people who work from home cite never feeling truly “off work” as a problem. If you choose to combine your vacation with business, you’re compounding the problem. Everyone needs actual time off to recharge and refresh. If you’re a working parent you may find that business trips provide you the time you need to focus on work.
Time zone confusion
Frequent moving between time zones, even those only an hour apart, can disturb your internal clock and your external schedule. You may find it challenging to schedule meetings or appointments if you’re unsure what time zone you’ll be in on any given day.
Many conference-goers need a day or two post-conference to follow up on connections made or information learned. You may let things slide if you go immediately from conference to vacation.
Although bringing your family on a work trip can save you money, it can also put a lot of pressure on your partner. This is especially true if you have kids that your partner is responsible for entertaining in an unfamiliar location while you work. You may also find that you resent not being able to do some of the fun things your family does while you’re in a meeting. Your family may also want to travel to different places than your company sends you. Taking actual family vacations means that everyone gets a chance to choose locations and activities.
As travel becomes “normal” again, more and more people are looking for ways to extend their trips. If you plan to combine your business and free-time travel, make sure to think through all the potential consequences.